Two foreigners among four shortlisted to be GECOM’s CEO

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By Kurt Campbell

Public Relations Officer of GECOM, Vishnu Persaud.
Public Relations Officer of GECOM, Vishnu Persaud.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Speaking with iNews during a telephone interview on Wednesday (February 5), Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vishnu Persaud confirmed that four persons have been shortlisted for the post of Chief Elections Officer (CEO) at GECOM.

According to Persaud, two foreigners are among the four of which acting CEO Calvin Benn and Senior Officer Keith Lowenfield are the locals.
The interviews for the overseas based candidates will be done initially over Skype. Only recently Persaud debunked allegations that GECOM was sidestepping its longtime Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Calvin Benn for the top post.
He explained that there is a very transparent process [ongoing] for the selection of a new CEO, adding that it is not an appointment that can be made solely by the Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally but a collective appointment by all the Commissioners.
It is important that a substantive CEO be in place as the country prepares to hold Local Government Elections sometime this year for the first time in 19 years.
The position became vacant after GECOM did not renew the contract of Gocool Boodhoo.  The decision not to renew was controversial with the Chairman Dr. Surujbally, who is said to have voted with the opposition for his removal from the Commission.
Boodhoo had been at the centre of a dispute over the formula used to calculate the results of the November 2011 general and regional elections.

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